The remote work culture is relatively new. In the past, a very small percentage of jobs could be performed remotely–that is, at any place in the world without ever entering an office.
Today, technology has enabled most industries to start building remote teams and hiring remote employees that work from home.
The startup scene really thrives on remote employees and teams–they allow founders and business owners to hand-select candidates and teams based on qualifications, culture fit, and drive, rather than limiting them to only candidates in their immediate area.
In fact, several of our own employees work remotely instead of in-office.
We found 6 companies that let employees work from home and are finding great success with it. Check the list out. Could you start working from home or allowing employees to try it?
Basecamp is a respected authority in the remote working world. They’ve published books on working remotely and the shifting remote work culture.
Basecamp formed its’ remote work policy after surveying people to find out when and where they’re most productive. Their findings showed that no one was most productive at the office–people said they did their best work on trains, early in the morning or late at night, or while sitting in the crazy-comfy chair in the living room. The founders of Basecamp understood that if they wanted the best results from their team, they had to put them in the right circumstance to create them.
When they let employees work from home and create their own productive work environments, Basecamp exemplifies the heart of working remotely: Boosting productivity by increasing employee satisfaction.
Buffer is a recognizable name in the social media management and marketing industry. The Buffer blog is a highly respected resource for marketers and community managers everywhere. Their products help people be more productive and successful on social media by posting at scheduled times.
Buffer’s remote work culture helps employees live a life they enjoy while doing work that is satisfying and feels important.
The team is scattered across the globe, and that could make communication difficult. But Buffer is careful to make sure team members stay connected and engaged with each other through video conferences, employee chats, and regular check ins. The company also hosts yearly retreats for the entire team, giving employees a chance to spend time together face-to-face and strengthen their existing relationships.
Add to that the warm support every new team member receives–hands on training, the tools and technology they need to succeed (laptops, Kindles, etc.), and the opportunity to attend yearly retreats–and it’s no wonder people scramble to apply when new positions open up.
CloudPeeps is a marketplace for freelancers that operates from headquarters in San Francisco and Brooklyn. The core team is small–just 4 people, including founder Kate Kendall of The Fetch–but the group of freelancers that function as CloudPeeps is massive, spanning the globe and continuing to grow.
To find success at working remotely and managing remote teams, CloudPeeps uses tools and software that help boost productivity and keep the lines of communication open. Asana, Google Hangouts, Trello, Github, and Slack are all CloudPeeps favorites for staying in touch and on top of things. CloudPeeps gifts every new team member with a copy of Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
The core team also goes on retreats regularly to squeeze in some face-to-face work time, brainstorming sessions, and a little fun.
You might know FlexJobs as a site to browse and search for remote job opportunities, but did you know the FlexJobs lets employees work from home?
The entire team is distributed across the United States, from California to New York. This company doesn’t believe face-to-face work time is necessary to build a cohesive and effective team. They don’t host retreats like some of the other companies on this list, but on their website, they say “We haven’t even all met in person, [but] that doesn’t stop us from being a cohesive team, enjoying our jobs, and loving to help our clients.”
Mozilla is the open-source provider of the Firefox web browser as well as Mozilla Thunderbird email. The company has 13 offices located around the world. Their employees are located in more than 30 countries.
With 13 global offices, chances are, there’s an office near you. Not every Mozilla employee works from home, but they’re very clear about their stance on working remotely: “If you work best from home, that’s not a problem. We can support you anywhere.” With so many distributed employees and offices, it’s possible to get great support from close-by team members.
The company is interested in providing their employees as much flexibility as possible to keep them happy (which keeps them productive, as well).
There’s something different about Upworthy, and you can tell as soon as you visit the Jobs page on their website:
“Work from home, from a coffee shop, from a coworking space — anywhere with good enough Internet to do a Google Hangout. Go move to Montana for a month and work from there if you want. (And if you already live in Montana, keep on living there!) There are no remote workers here; we’re all part of a distributed team.”
The folks at Upworthy want their employees to take time off–they really, really want them to. So much that they offer special vacation bonuses for team members who take a phone-free, relaxation-geared vacation from work. Did we mention they give all employees unlimited time off? That’s how strongly they believe recharging and little breaks from work help keep their employees satisfied and productive.
Boasting team members that defected from The Onion, Reddit, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and more, Upworthy is serious about providing a great remote work culture for employees that focuses on results, not time spent working.
What do you think of these companies that let employees work from home? Do you think it could work for your business? It seems like the secret these companies have discovered to managing and building cohesive remote teams is keeping the lines of communication open and abandoning what we think “work” means.
Like Upworthy focuses on results, not time spent working, and Buffer encourages team members to take vacations and sabbaticals, these companies are finding success by doing something different than most. We’re big fans of the growth and rise of the remote work culture.
Publish Date: April 15, 2016 5:00 AM
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